Picture perfect: To get the best wedding photos, fall in love with your photographer

Behnaz Bonyadian and Brian Akinyanju were married at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards on March 31. Photo: Jen Fariello Behnaz Bonyadian and Brian Akinyanju were married at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards on March 31. Photo: Jen Fariello

As they say, lovelies, a picture is worth a thousand words. And Candy Girl has quite a few choice ones for when a night of being fabulous and having a blast turns up on Facebook with everyone looking somehow both washed out and blotchy, and a bit like they were hanging out in a condemned bowling alley. Or for the moment when the phone, much too close to the face, turns out to be on selfie mode, revealing a new chin and a couple of whiskers in the worst possible angle known to ancient and modern man. “Why,” you may wonder as you filter and untag and delete, do I not have someone following me around making sure I look as great in photos as I do in the flesh?

Well, you lucky little ducklings, your wedding day provides the opportunity to find just such a somebody! This is likely the one time in your life that you will be attended by a professional who is literally dedicated to providing flattering, lasting evidence of just how beautiful you and your loved ones are. And as you will no doubt discover while budgeting, that evidence is worth more than just words, so finding the right person for the job is even more crucial. But how?! Don’t worry. Candy Baby has you covered.

Photographer Jen Fariello knows how best to track down the perfect photog for your big day.

“After all is said and done,” she says, “the images are there for a lifetime and so properly investing time, research and funds should be a top priority.” She advises investing more in coverage up front, rather than products. You can always have a shot you love from the day of reprinted. Going back and doing it all over? Not so much. Look for work that speaks to you while shopping around.

Robert Radifera of Robert Radifera Photography highlights the importance of looking through photos of an entire event before committing. “Make sure you’re looking at a real wedding and not a styled shoot,” he says. “They produce very different images and it’s easy to become smitten with highly produced and styled pictures.”

After falling in love with the art, Fariello and Radifera both recommend falling in love—at least a little bit—with the artists themselves.

“The wedding photographer will be with you the most on your wedding day, so finding someone who has a great personality and will let you shine is key,” says Fariello. An engagement shoot is a great way to build rapport. “Any communication kinks can be worked out,” says Radifera, “and the couple gets a good feel for what it feels like to be in front of the camera.”

When all is said and done, you get your photos back, they’re everything you’ve dreamed and you live happily ever after with the perfect wedding album! Hopefully. But, what if it doesn’t quite work out that way? “Any reputable and professional photographer wants to make their client happy,” says Fariello. “So just open up a dialogue and figure out what didn’t go the way you wanted and see what can be done.” Doing your research and building a good relationship before the big day means that anything disappointing in your finished product is likely a matter of circumstance (bad weather, sticky jam-fingered nephews), and a follow-up shoot can help fill those gaps in your dream day coverage.

Candy Girl is C-VILLE Weddings’ resident wedding advice expert. She’s been doling out helpful bon mots since before you were dressing up salt and pepper shakers and making them kiss, doll.

Posted In:     Magazines,Weddings

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